Barrows in Salisbury Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002817

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1958


Ordnance survey map of Barrows in Salisbury Plantation
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Pentridge

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Wimborne St. Giles

National Grid Reference: SU 02503 16207, SU 02637 16210, SU 02655 16244, SU 02734 16255, SU 02764 16177, SU 02797 16110, SU 02849 16111


Round barrow cemetery 1230m north of Squirrel’s Corner.

Reasons for Designation

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials - or ring ditches, visible only from the air due to levelling of the mounds by cultivation in the historic and modern periods. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow. On Cranborne Chase, round barrow cemeteries are associated with earlier features such as long barrows, the Dorset Cursus, and henge monuments. Where excavation has taken place around the barrows, contemporary or later flat burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex, of which that on Cranborne Chase is significant. They are particularly representative of their period, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument class provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and constitute a significant component of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. The round barrow cemetery 1230m north of Squirrel’s Corner survives well and the individual barrows will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 January 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into seven areas, includes a round barrow cemetery situated on the north facing slopes of Bottlebush Down overlooking the valley of the River Crane. The round barrow cemetery includes seven bowl barrows which survive as circular mounds surrounded by largely buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived although one has a clearly defined ditch of up to 2m wide and 0.6m deep. The barrow mounds vary in size from 12m up to 30m and from 0.3m up to 4.5m high. One barrow had sherds of a ‘barrel’ shaped urn recovered as surface finds and is crossed by the parish boundary between Pentridge and Wimborne St Giles. Another barrow has a possible excavation hollow close to its centre.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DO 359

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:-1314567, 213564, 1314549, 1314553, 1314546, 1314543 and 1314530

End of official listing